Live always at the edge of poetic possibilty, even in the face of severe prose. - Walter Bruggemann

Monday, June 23, 2008

Tel Dan Nature Reserve

Gan Eden - Garden of Eden. This way to Paradise!
Tel Dan Nature Reserve is located in the Golan Heights near Mount Hermon, the tallest mountain in Israel. The Dan River is the largest and most important source of the Jordan River. Its springs provide water fed by the snow and rain on Mt. Hermon to the area. Because of its location Tel Dan is rich with plant life and animals. Within Tel Dan there is Ancient Dan which includes walls and gates and ritual sites dating back to the Neolithic Age - the beginning of the 5th millennium BCE. There is evidence that there was a city built early in the Canaanite period.

The tell is identified with the city of Laish, captured by the tribe of Dan. The tribe found it difficult to deal with the Philistines and so headed up north. "They proceeded to Laish....they rebuilt the town and settled there, and they named the town Dan, after their ancestor Dan who was Israel's son." Judges 18:27-29
Entrance to Tel Dan and next to the son Dan - no relation.
This is a must do on your next visit.
Local wildlife.
The Israelite Gate - built of three pairs of pilasters, apparently from the First Temple period (1006 - 586 BCE).
The Dan River
The Wading Pool. This is a shallow pool where everyone can wade in the cool water from one of the springs. The day we visited there was a field trip for a group of school girls. They were having a great time!
The Flour Mill was built around 150 years ago and operated on water power until 1948. The mill has two pairs of millstones.
Pistachio Lookout. Here you have a view of the reserve, the Hula Valley, the Naphtali Mountains, Mount Hermon and the Golan Heights. The lookout is named after the large Atlantic pistachio tree that grows there.

This is a remarkable reserve with so much to explore. Ancient ruins, flora, fauna, springs, a wading pool, hiking - really it is Paradise.

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